Fear, Hatred and Superstition VS Empowerment

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Early on in my trauma,

I felt incredibly and unbearably vulnerable. And I hated the psychopath I’d been involved with. In fact, I hated all psychopaths. I feared them, too. They terrified me. I felt there might be one lurking behind every bush and every smiling face. I felt paranoid; every time I interacted with someone I drilled my eyes into them, searching for some kind of sign. For a short time, I believed the one I’d known may very well have been the devil himself (something I’d never even believed existed before).

All of those feelings were normal reactions to the trauma I’d experienced. And all of them resolved eventually, because they could not co-exist with empowerment.

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I’m cautious now, in the same way I’m cautious about other dangers, instead of afraid and paranoid. My hatred of the psychopath who traumatized me, along with my irrational belief that he was the devil, have been replaced by an understanding of what made him act the way he did. My feelings of complete vulnerability resolved with an understanding of myself—not only of the particular traits I had that put me at risk, but the traits all neurotypical humans share that leave us vulnerable. None of us can be entirely invulnerable, but we can become much less vulnerable.

I still wonder if a person I’m interacting with might be psychopathic, and I think that’s a very good thing. It doesn’t consume me; it’s just there, as a possibility.

If a few years have passed

since you were traumatized and you still feel fear, hatred and naked vulnerability, and if you avoid new relationships, don’t accept it as just the way things are now. Instead, consider if there are a few things left you need to work on.

If you’ve gotten involved with another psychopath (or even a whole string of them), or anyone who was manipulative and lacked empathy, please don’t see it as some inherent defect that you have, as something you are helpless to change and that makes you a “psychopath magnet,” It’s not true. There are just a few more things left for you to work on, at a deeper level.

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You may need to put some more time and effort into the following:

Gaining knowledge of how manipulation and a lack of empathy manifest, or are expressed, through a person’s behavior and through their effect on you. A good starting point is my last blog post, How to Never Get Involved with a Psychopath, Narcissist or Sociopath—or Any Abuser—Ever Again. Learning more about psychopaths, narcissists and others who are manipulative and lack empathy, can also help. A very useful book that describes them in detail, along with the signs to look for, is Dangerous Personalities: An FBI Profiler Shows You How to Identify and Protect Yourself from Harmful People, by Joe Navarro.

Understanding and accepting—as incomprehensible as it may seem—that people exist who lack a conscience, who lack the ability to form real and meaningful connections with others, who lack the ability to love, and who lack empathy. It’s just as important to understand that these people are incredibly manipulative and they will do whatever they can to hide what they lack. To find out more, read: Do You Make This Simple (But Dangerous) Mistake About the Psychopathic Mind?

Recognizing and looking past your superstitions:

1) Your intuition is not going to protect you. If it was, it would have done so last time. You may be thinking, “It would have, if only I’d listened to it! I will next time!” Forget that. Last week I had an interesting conversation with Sandra Brown, M.A, author of “Women Who Love Psychopaths,” and she said some women who are re-victimized had the belief their intuition would protect them. It won’t. If you believe you can rely on it, you are still at risk. Find out why: Never Trust Your Gut…Unless it Tells You to RUN.

2) A belief that psychopaths are ‘evil’—in the supernatural or religious sense—won’t help. It makes them into something you are totally powerless against, and feeling powerless is a lot different than feeling empowered. Those beliefs are based on a lack of understanding of how their disorder makes them act in ways that can sometimes seem truly evil. There are no “evil forces” at work in the world, either. It sure seems that way! but terrible things happen because they are allowed to happen, or at least allowed to persist. There have been many times people have stood up against “the forces of evil” and won. You can, too. To learn more about the origin of superstitious beliefs and how they can work against you, read: Psychopaths are Not Supernatural Beings With Superpowers

Gaining a deeper understanding of the traits you have—as an individual and by virtue of being a neurotypical human—that leave you vulnerable. This is not to be confused with blaming yourself! Self-blame is the enemy; it indicates a lack of understanding and it will hinder your recovery. We all have vulnerabilities. It’s normal. The only problem is that there are people who will exploit those vulnerabilities. Some of them can’t be changed, such as many of our cognitive biases, but even just the awareness that they’re there can help. If you don’t know what your particular vulnerabilities are, a therapist may be able to help you. As a starting point, read about many of the traits that make us vulnerable, here: Why You? And How Did You Get Trapped? To find out about the vulnerabilities we all have, read: The Hidden Vulnerability We All Have, Revealed

If you want to learn something about yourself—something fundamental and important, and that will help protect you—become aware of your emotional needs. If you know what they are, you’ll know when they aren’t being met. You can find them here:  REBOOT

Develop boundaries. This isn’t optional! And since boundaries mean nothing if you don’t defend them, you’ll become assertive as a bonus. You can find your boundaries here (wasn’t that easy?): Your Basic Human Rights  (You can add to them as you need to).

EMPOWERMENT is possible!

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 “Misinterpreting the behavior of a disordered character is the first step in the process of being victimized by them.”

(Dr. George Simon)

“Know yourself. Psychopaths are skilled at detecting and ruthlessly exploiting your weak spots. Your best defense is to understand what these spots are, and to be extremely wary of anyone who zeroes in on them.”

(Robert Hare, PhD)

“Magical beliefs and the fearful reactions based on such beliefs are the result of the state of uncertainty we are in, created by this challenge and by the negation of our expectations. Our feelings come from the conviction of loss of control and the sense of helplessness we feel when our cognitive system can neither assimilate our experience into its own structure nor adapt itself to the structure of the experience.”

(Jean-Paul Sartre)

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39 thoughts on “Fear, Hatred and Superstition VS Empowerment”

  1. Pamela

    Nope, never will I trust someone again. 29 years of emotional and mental abuse is more than enough, thank you.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Hi, Pamela. I’m not surprised that you’re feeling the way you are, especially with your abuser still having a presence in your life, by way of befriending your family members. It must feel like you can’t even trust them, let alone some stranger you just met and know nothing about. You don’t want to open yourself up to even more of it. It’s a difficult and painful situation to be in, and I’m sorry that’s happened to you. I hope you have a couple of people in your life that you can trust xx

      1. Shani

        Aha, words so profound, simple and direct, what a pleasure and motivation
        to read.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          Thank you, Shani! Good to see you.

      2. Susan M

        25 years for me, plus a couple of nasty individuals during the separation, where I was the most vunerable. I am not anymore, but I still trust literally no one. I do however, beleive that evil spirits, exist inthe the low freqeuncies and are attached to these “people”. they can likewise attach to you if you are ensnared into their sick games and manipulations. they are all a void. a pure void. that is evil. anywhere where there is a lack of good, that defines evil, per Aristotle.

        1. Adelyn Birch

          I like Aristotle’s definition; a “lack of good” doesn’t imply the supernatural.

          1. Sami

            One who plans to hurt you.hurts you on purpose. and then hurts you for hurting you is a fine 21st century definition of EVIL. No horns or tails needed. THEY WILL LOOK LIKE THE NICEST PERSON YOU EVER MET.. A BEING OF LIGHT. SAVE YOURSELF FROM THEM KNOW THEM KNOW THAT THEY HAVE ONLY THE POWER YOU GIVE THEM THAT MEANS YOUR THOUGHTS. STAND . WALK AWAY AND KNOW. FEAR NO EVIL . WALK AWAY . TEACH IT WHEN YOU ARE READY..BECAUSE IT IS THE TRUTH.

            1. Adelyn Birch

              “Evil, no horns or tails needed.” I agree, horns and tails are unnecessary. And they dis-empower us. Thanks for your comment, Sami.

    2. Terry

      Gee I only did 24 Years of emotional abuse. At this point he is stalking and that is a whole different story

      1. Adelyn Birch

        I’m sorry to hear that, Terry, and I hope things will get better for you.

    3. vanessa

      I, too, was ‘in him’ for 29 years! And I, too, still have trust issues with men. I haven’t dated since I divorced him (got hit on by a few married men, which didn’t help me trust men anyway). It might be nice to meet someone kind, gentle, compassionate and caring; but I’m doing better (and taking MUCH better care of my self) as a single. I have friends, church, my jobs, which is enough for the time being. I still have to ‘let go’ of being angry/disappointed in God, for NOT fixing him all those years). Prayers, often in tears, NEVER worked; and I often felt abandoned, neglected and hated by God. But, it wasn’t God, it was my ex, and a total waste of 29 years. I do know people, who move on, find a new love; but for me, 29 years (like Pamela) is more than enough.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        I’m sorry you felt abandoned, neglected and hated, and for so many years. You feel content with your life now, and that’s wonderful after the trauma you’ve experienced. If you don’t want another relationship, then there isn’t a problem. If you did, but fear stopped you, only then it would be a problem, one you’d be motivated to solve.

        I hate to see an abuser continue to have a negative impact on someone’s life long after they’re gone, and after they already robbed so much from them.

        Apparently, God doesn’t fix things. People (including children) are raped and starve to death and suffer through terrible illnesses, and are tortured, gassed, murdered, lit on fire and blown up by bombs, and suffer deep trauma in abusive relationships.

        If I believed someone loved me—a person who was perfectly capable of protecting me or rescuing me—and they stood by and did nothing while I suffered any of the things above, and while I begged and cried for their help, I wouldn’t put my faith and trust in them any more. It would be completely reasonable to consider that person callous, cold-hearted, and without empathy or compassion. Yes, the whole thing perplexes me, and it always has. And right now, when I see it compared side-by-side with an abusive relationship, I’m even more perplexed.

        1. vanessa

          After all of what I went through, somehow I still believe in God, but not as deeply or as trusting as I did. I still go to church, but its hard to listen to some believers as they tell of God’s mercy, goodness and blessings. I have learned to keep my disappointments with God to myself, and I no longer read books/articles/teaching tapes about ‘chrisitan love, marriage and family. Those may work for believers, but not for me.

          1. Adelyn Birch

            Even if I don’t quite get it, I hope you can get past your disappointment and find peace in it again, if it helps you.

            I’ve heard about the type of christian marriages where the husband is supposed to be in charge. It seems it could really be taken advantage of, if the guy is the type to do so. Plenty of abusers use religion as a disguise. I’ve heard so many readers tell me it happened to them. Church sounds like a safe and wholesome place to meet someone, but it’s just like anyplace else.

    4. Nicole

      I love your blogs and it’s highly encouraging to know your a nurse. Nurses Rock and often are not noted for their intelligence and caring.

      I am struggling to live a psychopath free life I have not been able to escape the targeting because he has been stalking me, and it has increased almost ten times fold since I’ve tried to get away sabotaging everything in my life. I am one step away from being homeless and he still persists. I’m almost envious of people who live an abuse free life.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        Thank you very much, Nicole! I’m an RN, CHPN (hospice), although I’m not practicing at this time.

        I’m sorry you’re having your life sabotaged by a stalker. I hope you’re getting some good advice and doing whatever possible to protect yourself from him. It concerns me that his behavior is escalating! Do you have supportive people in your life, and/or a good therapist? I can’t imagine how stressful it must be.

        A few resources I hope will help you:

        Stalking: A Handbook for Victims (it’s written in 1999, but looks like it has a lot of good information that’s still relevant)

        Stalking Resource Center

        Coping with Stalking and Stalkers, an article that describes different types of stalkers and their motivations, along with ideas of how to deal with each one. It’s written by a man who claims to be a malignant narcissist, and he seems to really ‘gets’ these kinds of people, being one himself. That said, I’d be wary about putting some his advice into practice (such as “cryptically threatening a narcissist” that you’re going to expose his secrets); I’d worry that would drive the stalker over the edge. It is helpful in understanding the mindset of stalkers, though.

        Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour Based Violence (DASH) Risk Identification and Assessment and Management Model: UK-based evaluation that identifies if a stalker is likely to become violent (see page two for high-risk factors). It was created for use by professionals (in the UK), but it could be helpful when speaking with the police or other authorities.

        Best wishes to you, for your safety and well-being xx

        1. Anthony

          Are you an atheist or agnostic? It is disturbing to think we are nothing but material and all our action is tied into some mere brain biology. I want desperatly for there to be meaning to all our existence, for us to truly be real than some chemical reaction bounching hither thither. Otherwise I feel good and evil are just us deluding ourselves into thinking we are in any control.

          1. Adelyn Birch

            Hi, Anthony. I’m atheist. I’ve been this way my whole life, despite growing up in a family of believers. I have nothing against it; it’s just that to me, it’s clearly a delusion, one brought about by the very thing you mentioned—wanting desperately to believe there is meaning to our existence, that we are more than brain biology and chemical reactions. I believe there is meaning to our existence, which is whatever meaning we give it.

            I happen to think our brain biology is quite extraordinary (most of the time). It gives rise to qualities like love, compassion and morality, and to me, those are the things that give our lives meaning. Our minds are vast and capable of creating experiences like awe and self-transcendence and boundless love. Many people have these experiences and attribute them to the divine, and although I can understand how that could happen, when I experience these things I can’t attribute them to something divine because I don’t believe in it. That doesn’t take anything away from them. I’m fine with things just as they are from my vantage point. I think it’s a beautiful world and people are capable of all kinds of amazing and wonderful things, from being a good parent to finding a cure for some disease to helping others in need, and that a god isn’t a requirement for any of these things; they’re just part of being human.

            Similarly, I don’t think “evil” or “the devil” is responsible for the bad things. Those things stem from our brain biology, too, and I think that if people understood their brain biology, the world would be a better place. So many of the problems we face stem from our “reptilian brain,” that ancient part we still have that causes us to see people who are different from us as a threat. It creates the feeling of US and THEM. But there is no “them”; there’s only “us.” When people have a feeling that others who practice a different religion or have a different sexuality, for example, must be stopped, or that they must be made to believe what we do or live like we do, or that they don’t have the same rights, they could simply say “Oh, there goes my reptilian brain again!” and then carry on in a rational, sane manner.

            People who believe in a god tend to have all sorts of erroneous ideas about those of us who don’t, but I can tell you from firsthand experience those ideas aren’t true. I hope that helps you understand a little better.

  2. Larmes

    I’m 18 months into no contact and I’m happy with my life. I realise how I was used and how I misinterpreted the early warnings. Now I do not give anybody benefit of doubt – I confront them about what’s bothering me. Maybe confront is too strong a word. I ask people to explain. Now I know what word salad sounds like I can recognise when others are trying to manipulate me.
    I’m happy with who I am. And I’m strong enough to fight my corner in the legal battle over the shared property we bought ten years ago where he still lives with his latest victim. He thinks he’s hurting me by delaying paying me my half. But the truth is, no amount of money comes close to the value of the freedom I now enjoy.

    1. Adelyn Birch

      That freedom is priceless, and I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying it. Best of luck with your legal battle, Larmes.

    2. Susan M

      I see the same story over and over with such similar details. (I too have an ex best friend living with and being supported by him on my former property used for my autism camp which he totally destroyed. everything he touched, he destroyed… almost destroyed ME). I think the narcs/BPDs all come from the same county, lol. Yes, the word salad, or ridiculous idioms used to deflect any type of liability. its like they all have a little notebook they refer to or they have them memorized. yuck. Where are the real genuine people? I feel like I have gone into hiding, yet every now and then, I emerge and occasionally get smacked. It is not a character flaw within me to desire to see the good in people. However, I can no longer trust people intrinsically. I befreind them with a …caveat.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        I know what it’s like to emerge and get smacked, Susan. It’s surprising that finding genuine people takes as much time and effort as it does. I’m sorry to hear of how your ex affected your life. They remind me of bulldozers, leveling everything in their path.

  3. Maria

    Well I thought I had gotten over the fact that because my mother was a psychopath, my relationships were with a string of psychopaths. Until I met a guy who I thought was also a victim of a psychopath. His behaviour and decisions were sometimes incomprehensible. A psychiatrist gave him also extremely big amounts of lyrica and gababentin, and he turned into a psychopath. A counsellor told me he might have Aspergers as he cannot sleep with another person in the same bed ever. I belong to the lyrica survivors group in Facebook where they all mention how this drug makes people rageful, angry and without emotions. So I really do not know what to do. I

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Hi Maria. I don’t know too much about Lyrica, but a quick search revealed that plenty of people are complaining of serious side effects that aren’t included in the prescribing info. It seems as if these drug companies are alway (conveniently) the last to know. While I’m skeptical that it “turned him into a psychopath,” it does blunt the emotions, and that may be what you were referring to.

      Many drugs have the same effect—-such as anti-anxiety drugs like Klonopin and Xanax, and quite possibly even acetaminophen (tylenol, paracetamol), which is an ingredient in over 600 drugs, many of them over-the-counter. Anti-depressants also blunt the emotions and interfere with long-term attachment. When emotions are blunted, it includes both positive and negative ones, and it also reduces empathy.

      If you consider the sheer number of people who take at least one of these drugs, it adds up to a lot of us walking around with blunted emotions and empathy, and it’s alarming. This effect, though, shouldn’t last after a drug is discontinued.

      Aspergers is one of the disorders with reduced empathy as a core feature. You may want to take a look at this list of signs that someone may have Aspergers, and see how your boyfriend (ex-bf?) compares. Empathy is necessary in order to form emotional connections with others, and anyone who lacks empathy will harm an empathic person in a relationship. IMPORTANCE OF EMPATHY

      Best of luck to you, Maria

  4. Christine

    I understand Pamela’s feelings. I still have little desire to move beyond my mostly solitary life. I just have no desire to be with others, sort of giving up on humanity, or maybe giving up on my ability to trust again. I have ordered your book, “Boundaries”, Adelyn. Perhaps I will find some inspiration that will help.

    Perhaps the problem is the major depression that never fully lets go. I want a different end to my story but after so many years , it seems less likely and hope fades…

    1. Adelyn Birch

      I think major depression could very well be what’s causing your lack of social motivation and the feeling that hope is fading.
      Thank you for buying the book Christine. I hope you enjoy it and find a spark of inspiration within it.

  5. Brightie

    Hi Adelyn, I just found this talk encouraging, where a woman speaks if her survival of domestic violence: www.ted.com/talks/leslie_morgan_steiner_why_domestic_violence_victimsdon_t_leave Hopefully more people will become more free and talk about their experiences with Ps. I’m now 1 year and 1month free from my ex husband and am still afraid to talk publicly about what had happened to me and the way he treated me. Maybe some day I publish some stories, but for now I’m enjoying the freedom with my son and my fears are slowly fading away. Best of luck to everyone in need. Have a nice summer! Yay ;)

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Thank you Brightie, that is an excellent TED talk on DV! Hard to believe it’s been over a year now for you; I remember when you were just leaving. Enjoy the freedom with your son! How wonderful that is, and that your fears are fading. Your state of mind and your life have changed so much. The darkness has lifted and the sun is shining again :-)

  6. Joshua

    Hello Adelyn, you closed you comments on Aspergers so I wish to post here. I have aspergers myself and I wish to share a few things.

    When I read your article at first I was disturbed, not angry or enraged but I felt a sense of confusion and uncertainty of what was going on. But now I have collected my thoughts and wish to share what I have to say.

    You were with two people with asperger syndrome and they hurt you deeply. I thought about what it would be like to return home after a long day at work to a person who can barely care for themselves, unable to dress themselves properly, frequently screaming due to loud noises and smells, and unable to properly reply or engage with you in conversation. It would be hell.

    I also went and read your post on compassion for psychopaths and have come to some conclusions. But before saying anymore let me give some information on myself.

    I have aspergers but a strange form. I looked over my testing from when I was young, it said my empathy was at a retarded level rather than being zero and that my theory of mind was intact. This confused me but then I remember autism is a spectrum. I have never been in a relationship as I know it would cause nothing good. Everyday I struggle with the pain that I let my parents down by not being the child they deserve, one who isn’t mentally disabled or a sheer dissapointment. At my work, my poor working memory, my inability to multi-task, my poor executive function, and my tendency to drift off leaves me feeling inferior and a let down to my colleagues. I have contemplated suicide frequently and in addition I have a fantasy that at the end of my life, there will appear a figure who comes up to me and says with a sardonic voice “that didn’t go according to plan, would you like to give it another shot” and I would be reborn normal. Everyday I yearn for a cure or some treatment for all my symptoms, but I see none and feel trapped in this body and brain I never asked for.

    So why am I telling you this? It is no doubt a selfish request, but I feel that compassion is possible for an autistic person unlike the psychopath. Psychopaths are running the world, they are in vast positions of power carefully manipulating each and every event that has great consequences on everyone’s lives and they ENJOY IT. The autistic/asperger on the other hand is not a threat to society, they did not cause mao zedongs famine nor are they behind ISIS. The biggest difference is that the autistic/aspie is suffering ever single minute of their life, in some cases more than their parents or relatives are. Every day is agony, nothing but sensory overload and obsession piercing their mind, intrusive thought after though, drug like lack of free will, they are a walking melting pot of internal torment. They need a cure.

    I have visited wrongplanet.net and I have seen some improvement, the amount of people coming around to being pro-cure is increasing albeit at a very sluggish rate, but it is something. There are thousands of brains available for schizophrenia and alzheimer research but so few for autism. There is currently no mass movement to find ways to relieve the suffering of people with autism and those who must care for them.

    All I want is to be able to feel, to be able to live life and help others, to find love, but this cage I am in brings sorrow to me and those around me. What I want you to do is to see aspergers not as a threat to society but as a problem, a problem that needs a solution through strong research so it may be destroyed. Nobody with aspergers or autism wants to be that way, and anyone who says otherwise has bought into the neurodiversity sham. (you should read jonathan mitchells autism gladfly blog, he is autistic, not aspergers, but fullblown autistic, it is so rare we find one with enough sense to understand that the disease must be solved. Like Cancer, Aids, and Polio, the next step is to eradicate this new pestilence. It would be more effective if instead of pushing the cassandra thing and heartlessaspergers website (I undertstand what brought you to this feeling, I have felt strong resentment against my cousin with fullblown autism and having to care for him at times, but he is a suffering being) that you instead spend most of your effect fighting against neurodiversity and fighting to see that someday a cure or treatment will be found. So many drugs are available like methylone or other ones that directly target the limbic system, they have promising results but the powers that be have banned them or are withholding them from being used for any kind of therapy.

    I may not see the solution come about in either of our lifetimes, but small things build up. I just don’t want anyone more to suffer. Autism is not a gift, IT IS A DISEASE REQUING A CURE!

    1. Adelyn Birch

      Hi, Joshua. I DO have compassion for people with aspergers/autism. I don’t consider them to be the same as psychopaths—what I was saying is that their behavior is very similar at times, and although the motivations behind it are very different, it has the same effect on us. The reason we have intimate relationships is to have our emotional needs met—to share a mutual meeting-of-needs—and if we want that to happen then we need to have those relationships with people who are capable of it.

      When people on the spectrum don’t disclose their diagnosis, it’s unfair and it isn’t smart. The truth is going to come out. It can either come out through disclosure, or after putting the person through a lot of unnecessary hell. I have a right to self-determination, but I can’t determine what is best for me and my life if I don’t have the facts with which to make a decision. If a person has a disorder that has a profound effect on their relationships, then they need to be up front about it. Since most are not up front about it, and many others are undiagnosed, and because these relationships cause serious trauma, I feel people need to have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their lives. Relationships with psychopaths are traumatic, and so are relationships with people who are on the spectrum. How can I give them information on one and not the other if I’ve experienced both, and why shouldn’t I?

      I’m truly sorry you suffer so much from having Aspergers. I understand that you’re hurt by how it keeps you from some of the things you want in life. I have nothing against you or anyone with your disorder; I simply choose not to have an intimate relationship with someone who has it.

      I have a friend who’s on the spectrum. Right now, I’m helping him get a website put together and online. Several months ago, I took him to his eye surgery appointment, waited for him, brought him home with me because he was not allowed be alone that first night, made him dinner, etc, and took him back to the doctor in the morning. In turn, he does things for me when a need arises. I like him; in many ways he’s a great guy. He plays the guitar and we get together and sing our favorite songs. But our relationship is limited. As long as I don’t expect what he isn’t capable of, and as long as he doesn’t expect more from me than I want to give, we’re fine. I have others in my life for more intimate relationships.

      I hope that helps you understand my position a little better.

      As far as changing my focus from preventing trauma in relationships to fighting against neurodiversity, I don’t choose to do that because it’s not what I do. What I do is try to help people avoid traumatic relationships. Others will have to take on the rest. If I can create a website and share my ideas and feelings about something, so can anyone else. There’s nothing special about me.

      Thank you for your thoughtfully written comment, and for expressing your understanding of how autism/aspergers effects others. I hope a cure is found within your lifetime, Anthony.

      1. Adelyn Birch

        I forgot one point I wanted to make. I’m sorry to say it, and I understand you can’t help it, but your lack of empathy is apparent.

        You eloquently described the suffering Aspergers causes you, but you reduced/ dismissed the suffering of intimate partners as “the cassandra thing.” You said I should “stop pushing the cassandra thing” and instead focus on the problems your disorder causes you.

        Another name for “the cassandra thing” is Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome, which is the damage produced by chronic, intimate exposure of a neurotypical individual to a person with an autism spectrum disorder, which includes stress-related health problems, depression, fear, loss of self-esteem, doubt of their own reality, deep loneliness, emotional exhaustion, and mental breakdown.

        Until a cure is found, people need to become aware so they can protect themselves and make informed decisions about their relationship partners. It’s no different than becoming aware of any other type of disorder that’s going to cause relational trauma.

        1. Holly

          Would someone who relentlessly persists and simply ignores a “no” acting as if nothing was said be considered a psychopath? Highly manipulative, especially exploiting a vulnerable situation or weak emotional state for his agendas. But also acting with compassion and sensitive….

          1. Adelyn Birch

            You’ve described someone who could very well be psychopathic, Holly. Am I certain? Of course not, but I am sure that you can be CERTAIN that you should stay far away from this person. It doesn’t matter what their particular diagnosis is, this person is obviously bad news. Dangerous, really.

            “Highly manipulative… but also acting with compassion and sensitivity” Those two things are one in the same: manipulative. There is nothing compassionate or sensitive about this person. You can be sure of that.

        2. Anthony

          I guess that is part of my retarded level of empathy, my calling it a “cassandra thing”. I didn’t notice, I’m sorry about that.

          Sometimes I get worked up over wanting a cure or the unfairness of being born with autism. My therapist once mentioned an autistic (not aspergers, but regular autism) getting married. I was shocked, I was thinking how they may give birth to more autistic children who will suffer from their horrible disease but I didn’t consider at the time what if they had children and how they would feel growing up. Heck I didn’t consider what it would even be like if they had asperger or autistic children and how even harder it would be for them to be cared for and raised right than if they had NT parents!

          Autism makes everyone lose in the end. I don’t hate myself or my non verbal low functioning cousin, but I hate our disease.

          Hate the disease not the diseased (unless the diseased one does a bunch of horrible terrible things that rightfully earn hate or not bother to make an effort to try to overcome what they can, heck even Temple Grandin, a neurodiversity autistic advocate in a case of a broken clock being right twice a day, said back in her day people had manners, waited to speak, and so on and we shouldn’t let autistic people run around doing whatever the heck they want when they want with their disease as an excuse).

          It reminds me of a video game quote i remember exactly: “Is it better to be born good or to overcome one’s evil nature with great effort?”. I believe it is impossible for a person to completely fix their autism but there is an obligation for one’s true self behind the autism, the small part the disease has not possessed like a demon if one is still intact, to fight back as much as possible so others are hurt less.

          Keep going, have hope that someday in the future they will look back at OTRS, Autism, and other disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar the way we now look back at polio.

          1. Adelyn Birch

            I believe that someday those disorders will be like polio and no longer exist. It’s well within the realm of possibility.

            We’re all concerned more about our own issues than anyone else’s, to some extent. Those are the issues we have to deal with every day. But it is possible to care about the issues of others as well, especially when those people are involved in intimate relationships. That’s precisely the blind spot with many on the spectrum. It’s not that they don’t want to; they’re simply unable. But the reason doesn’t matter, because NTs involved with them will be emotionally traumatized.

            An interesting thing I learned today: I told you I have a friend with Asperger’s and I’m designing a website for him. He needed to write a short bio for his “about” page. Instead, he sent me his resume. I told him it would be much more engaging written out as a story, so he connected the items on his resume with “first he did this; then he did that; after that, he…” (this is a man with a PhD in political science). So I said, tell me what all of these things you’ve done MEAN. What do they say about you, your character, your interests; how do they inform how you do your job? That drew a blank. And I had been frustrated because he couldn’t put the facts together about me in way that said he knew me?! He doesn’t even know himself! I know him, though, so I wrote a solid bio for him, and he was astounded. He said his life made sense to him for the first time. I never expected that!

        3. Anthony

          “Until a cure is found, people need to become aware…”

          I also wish to add to this. Not to sound selfish again but just to let you know that the neurodiversity crowd is actually fighting against this idea by making autism seem nice. They promote films or tv shows with spectrum characters like Bones or the movie Adam without showing all the negative symptoms but just quirky characters.

          It’s like what the film “A beautiful mind” does with Schizophrenia. The film shows John Nash just hallucinating fake people but being a regular charming guy, that’s it. In real life he became incredibly paranoid, starting giving incomprehensible lectures, became a conspiracy theorist who went on about spies going after him, frequently mailed letters to embassies about his paranoid thoughts, neglected people close to him, heard numerous voices telling him to do harmful things, and had breakdowns in front of others and so on.

          So in a way the neurodiversity movement is a legit enemy for you concerning preventing OTRS, not just for autism anymore, they now include many other disorders as just being “different not less” which can also lead to OTRS. You don’t have to make it your main focus but mentioning them is helpful to your cause.

          1. Adelyn Birch

            I know all too well about the neurodiversity crowd; they attacked me for a year. All I can say is I’m glad psychopaths haven’t joined forces, but they’re loners and they do their own thing. I agree, the ND crowd is an enemy to OTRS and autism. I’m not so sure though, Anthony, that they will put a stop to research geared to a cure. I think the people who are working toward a cure see the ND viewpoint as stemming from the autism itself, so I don’t know how concerned you need to be about that.

            When I wrote the article on Aspergers and relationships, I was done. I’d said what I wanted to say. The more I was harassed, the longer that article got, so long that I had to create an entire second website on the topic! It seemed that the problem I’d written about was even worse than I thought, much worse.

            A couple of weeks ago I heard a podcast on NPR’s Invisibilia program, about TMS (trans-cranial magnetic stimulation) in the treatment of autism. It seems to contain some clue that could lead somewhere, but it didn’t seem to me that, in and of itself, it was helpful.

            Interestingly, Kevin Dutton, PhD, wrote about having TMS (I think it was in his book, ‘the wisdom of psychopaths’) so he could become psychopathic (for 30 minutes). He said he felt as if he’d been “spring-cleaned with sunshine.” LOL

        4. anthony

          One last thing (sorry for posting so much). I did display a lack of empathy by ignoring your situation in my main post. My reasoning was short sighted, it was along the lines that if autism were cured then there would be no need to write about relationships. Not looking at the big picture either, I was.

          The part thought about my lack of empathy in that one post though just makes me confused and then thought about something. On the internet there are no doubt flame wars and arguments everywhere where people post things ignoring other peoples issues and only caring about themselves. Not all of them can possibly be autistic. If you made a website about how to raise cats and were attacked by numerous uncaring unempathetic attack posts by cat-hating trolls, they all wouldn’t necessarily be autistic either.

          So if a bunch of autistic people start attacking your website, pointing out their lack of empathy would easily come across as an attack since the main reason they attack is they believe they are right and that you are wrong and maybe would still do it if they were neurotypical and going after something else you wrote unrelated to autism. Just watching an episode of Msnbc or Fox news also shows people doing the same thing all the time. Not that I deny that empathy is retarded in aspergers or absent in stronger autism, but youtube comment sections and the news also show that many regular people can be uncompassionate jerks in the right circumstances, some more bigoted and hate filled than some autistic people are. What is your opinion of all this confusing stuff?

          1. Adelyn Birch

            youtube comment sections and the news also show that many regular people can be uncompassionate jerks in the right circumstances

            Actually, studies have shown that people who leave those comments on YouTube and news sites are sadists and psychopaths. I doubt very much they’re left by people on the autism spectrum.

            I don’t think your referring to “the cassandra thing” was due to short-sightedness; I believe it was just a reflection of your autism. It’s OK. I understand you didn’t mean it. You’ve been very nice, calmly sharing your feelings, and you’ve done very well with it, and I appreciate it.

            So if a bunch of autistic people start attacking your website, pointing out their lack of empathy would easily come across as an attack since the main reason they attack is they believe they are right and that you are wrong and maybe would still do it if they were neurotypical and going after something else you wrote unrelated to autism. Just watching an episode of Msnbc or Fox news also shows people doing the same thing all the time.

            I don’t agree with that at all. It’s not about autistic people being jerks; it’s about autistic people being autistic. I can prove that: I’ve been writing this website for more than three years, and the number of nasty comments I’ve gotten is below 100. That’s out of 8,000 comments. I got more than 200 for writing ONE article about Asperger’s. I write here about psychopaths, and for the most part, they couldn’t care less. If they had been like the autists, I wouldn’t have lasted a month.

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